By Pastor Rasheed Z Baaith
“The LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” (Genesis 6:5)
America has from the country’s onset had two impediments to it being in reality what it proposed to be in concept. Those impediments were the seemingly unquenchable desire to own other people and white supremacy.
And despite the costs of the Indian Wars and the Civil War, that philosophy is still held by a growing number of white Americans, in particular white men. I think it is seen most clearly in how these men view women and relationships. They believe as males they are naturally superior to women.
We see that in the behavior of those males in the lives of Gabby Petito and Minya Marcano. Nor are they alone in receiving vicious, lethal treatment from those they are in relationship with. In 2020 alone there 268,884 who went missing.
Of that number 90,333 were Black women and girls or 34% of the total number. Yet our women and girls are only about 13% of the total female population in the country. Despite the numbers, Black women and girls, Indian women and girls who are missing rarely get national headlines like the ones generated by Gabby Petito and Minya Marcano.
There is in too many males in this country the belief that women whom they are attracted to do not have the right not to be attracted to them. And when their advances are rejected, these misanthropes believe they have the right to literally “take” these women against their will.
This behavior is a particular type of audacity that almost is beyond description. Its genesis is found in the politics and culture of this time. Women are seen in the same way people of color are classified: as other. That they are tolerated if they do not insist on owning their bodies, voicing their concerns, especially if those concerns are angry or if their politics oppose their being mistreated.
America, may be taking these murders much too casually. Nor is the country understanding all of the elements of these sickening and dreadful murders.
These women and girls are snatched from living whatever the domains of the lives have been. They are taken by males who will claim they “love” them and cannot live without them. They will find no comfort in those empty selfish statements. Because when they reject these specious whisperings, they will be threatened, physically abused and killed.
Their last moments of life will be filled with terror, bewilderment, anger, and hopelessness. Leaving this life wondering why did this happen to them.
Their families too will be engulfed with the same range of emotions and even when bodies are found and the killer apprehended there will be no closure. I’m often confused by what people intend when they speak of “closure.”
My eldest daughter died under very similar circumstances in 2018, her murderer captured, tried and sentenced and this “closure” still escapes me.